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Man pleads insanity in Aspen chairlift pushing case

ASPEN, Colo. — A man accused of pushing a snowboarder off an Aspen chairlift has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The Aspen Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1MKkKrs) that 31-year-old Thomas Proesel is charged with felony attempted assault for pushing Seth Beckton in January at Aspen Highlands, causing him to fall about 25 feet into deep snow. Becton was uninjured.

Proesel entered the plea Wednesday over Skype from a Tennessee psychiatric facility. Pleas are typically made in person, but his attorney Pamela Mackey and prosecutor Andrea Bryan filed joint motion arguing that Proesel be allowed to enter remotely.

Proesel’s arrest warrant says he made nonsensical statements to police, possibly including something about a terrorist.

The judge warned Proesel that he could be ordered to stay in a mental hospital indefinitely if he’s acquitted.

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Information from: Aspen Daily News, http://www.aspendailynews.com

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